A master at his craft

first_imgTracy Kidder ’67 likes to hear a good story, but he loves to tell one. You can hear it in his voice.The New York native is animated when describing a lumber mill in Maine, a trip to Henry David Thoreau’s cabin, and the history of the humble nail — research all connected to his 1999 book “House.”He calls those excursions and insights the “exteriors” of his stories, the extra level that goes beyond primary research, the in-depth character studies that he considers the “engines” of most narratives.Kidder is tall and lean and has a surprisingly soft yet husky voice. In his small office in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, he spoke recently about his years as a Harvard undergrad, his work as a writer, and his return to campus as the center’s first writer in residence.Kidder won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 1982 for his book “The Soul of a New Machine,” about the computer industry. He has authored eight other books, and is a contributor to several publications. But he is perhaps best known locally for his portrayal in “Mountains Beyond Mountains” (2003) of Paul Farmer, the Harvard doctor and founder of Partners In Health, a mainstay health care provider in Haiti.He is at Harvard for the semester working on a new book on writing with his collaborator and longtime editor Richard Todd. He has also given a number of talks about the craft of putting a compelling tale on paper.The residence program was established in honor of New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal and his legacy as a man who “prized journalism, reporting, and writing,” said Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center and Laurence M. Lombard Lecturer in the Press and Public Policy.“When we started to think about who we wanted as our inaugural writer, there was no question who our first choice was,” he told a crowd while introducing Kidder at one of the author’s Harvard presentations on Oct. 19.In the talk, Kidder expanded on some of the writer’s arts — pace, point of view, tone, and structure. He also discussed the critical task of making a subject spring to life in the mind of a reader. In the words of his editor Todd, Kidder said the ultimate goal is “to get life off the page and into the reader’s imagination.”He praised the work of English author Graham Greene for accomplishing exactly that. Though he rarely ever directly describes his characters, “[Greene] puts these people in motion and finds a way to let us imagine them.”The best structure of a story is one your reader isn’t even aware of, he told the audience.Kidder clarified the point with a sentiment from his former tai chi instructor: “When you get good you will develop your own style. When you get very good, you will learn to hide it.’”One of the biggest keys to perfecting his own writing is rewriting, an often brutal task that involves much more than simply shifting a paragraph, moving a sentence, or inserting a new word. Sometimes it means, he said, “starting over.”Another critical key is a second set of eyes. For that he relies on Todd, his friend and editor of more than 40 years. The two met while Kidder was working at The Atlantic and they have been together ever since. (Todd’s wife, Kidder said, has accused him of “sharing a kidney” with her husband.)Kidder began his time at Harvard studying government. “I wanted to change the world,” he said. But during a lecture by Henry Kissinger, he realized he was “bored” — not with Kissinger, but with his choice of concentration.He credits poet and classicist Robert Fitzgerald, his first English professor at Harvard, with inspiring in him a love of writing.“When you meet a teacher who inspires you tremendously, it’s a two-way street,” said Kidder, who first connected with Fitzgerald in a creative writing course. “You also have to be ready for that teacher in a way, but I certainly was.”He said Fitzgerald took his students seriously, expected “classic work” from them, and taught them one of the most crucial lessons a budding writer can learn: not to fall in love with their own work.“He would point to the wastebasket,” Kidder remembered, “and say, ‘This is the greatest repository I know for writers.’”After college and a year as an Army intelligence officer in Vietnam, Kidder clung to the idea of being a writer. He enrolled in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The intense seminars made him aware of a higher standard for writing, and of the talented fiction writers who were more likely to write a great novel than he was.Ultimately, Kidder connected with The Atlantic and decided to give long-form narrative nonfiction a try, and it took.His inspirations include poets like Emily Dickinson and writers like John McPhee and George Orwell. When he gets stuck, he frequently goes back to writing with a pen and paper. And he will often open to a random page of “Moby Dick” and read for a while, “Just to feel sort of free enough to write again.”As for finding his subjects, Kidder said it’s not easy, but that he tries to find a person who is doing “something interesting, or who interests me.” It’s not ideas he finds compelling, but people.Above all, he told his audience last month, “the cardinal rule for nonfiction writers is to make what you have … believable to your readers.”You have to find a way to credibly tell your readers, said Kidder: “I know this sounds too good to be true, but it happened.”last_img read more

Elder Abuse – Left penniless by daughter

first_imgFather, 85, speaks of daughter’s betrayal: ‘I never dreamt that she would do it’Stuff co.nz 28 October 2016Family First Comment:  “It is estimated up to 25,000 older people in New Zealand experience abuse or neglect each year. The abuse can be psychological, physical, financial or neglecting basic health and welfare needs.”Imagine the effect of euthanasia laws!Elder abuse in New Zealand is predicted to get worse and its impact can be devastating. Deena Coster shares the heart-breaking tale of what one man endured because of his daughter’s greed.When Ray Thomson lost his life savings, he also lost the daughter he thought loved him the most.“I was led to believe she was doing everything for me. She was alright but she was doing everything for herself – with my money,” he says.Over two years, Thomson’s daughter Helen Williams robbed her father of everything he had, cleaning $320,000 out of his bank account, leaving him with just $20.The blind man now lives in a rest home, in a single, sparsely decorated room, a transistor radio among his meagre possessions.In January, Williams was sentenced to 12 months’ home detention for her deceit, a crime she says was motivated by a gambling and drug addiction.Thomson can’t talk about what his daughter did without breaking down. She was going to get half his money when he died but she couldn’t wait, Thomson says – her “plain greed” got in the way.READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/85404476/Father-85-speaks-of-daughters-betrayal-I-never-dreamt-that-she-would-do-it?cid=app-iPhonelast_img read more

Ferdinand signs new United deal

first_img Press Association Sport understands the final touches have been put to the deal that will extend Ferdinand’s time at Old Trafford into a 12th season. “I am delighted to have signed for another year and I am looking forward to working with the new manager,” said Ferdinand. Rio Ferdinand has signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester United. Press Associationcenter_img It has been obvious Ferdinand wanted to remain at United for a while now. The 34-year-old last week called time on his international career in order to concentrate on club matters and has spoken openly about David Moyes’ impending arrival as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement. Nevertheless, the commitment of someone who has just won his sixth Premier League title is a further seal of approval for Moyes, who is facing a tough baptism at United given he has never won any major silverware despite his impressive reputation. It also represents good news for Ed Woodward, who will replace David Gill as chief executive in the summer. Woodward has been responsible for negotiating with Ferdinand’s team as he also gets used to the demands of his new role. Ferdinand has been on a friend’s stag celebrations in Marbella this week. However, he will be present for the start of pre-season training ahead of this summer’s tour to Australia and the Far East. last_img read more

E. Coli: Intestinal Plague And Best Traffic Cop?

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market adam popescu Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#international#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts If you squint really hard, you might see the newest, most unlikely model for anxiety-free commutes: E. coli bacteria.Chinese researchers have used bacterial foraging optimization, an algorithm, to vary traffic-light timing in order to grease vehicle flow at a single intersection in Guangzhou, the traffic-snarled capitol of Guandong province.The BFO software mimics the behavior of E. coli as it searches for food. In experiments, the software increased traffic flow by almost one-third compared to the same intersection regulated by fixed timing, according to an article by the BBC.When not providing a guide for urban transportation efficiency, the rod-shaped E. coli often can be found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. When inadvertently mixed with people food, E. coli can sicken and kill humans. The work, by scientists Qin Liu and Jianmin Xu, is based on so-called swarm intelligence. In this case, the collective reactions of billions of bacteria help steer the group effiencently toward greater concentrations of food.The researchers modeled their research after this phenomenon, applying it to car density. Their model allowed traffic lights to fluctuate in duration according to traffic conditions. At rush hour, traffic lights switched from a fixed time cycle to a reactive pattern.Someday, the evil lurking in the hamburger you just ate might be your only hope for getting to the emergency room in time.Photo by Grzegorz Łobiński Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Ambala: Army jawan refuses to cut braid citing religious freedom

first_imgA junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the Indian Army, posted in Ambala, has stirred a hornet’s nest by refusing to cut-off his choti (braid) when ordered recently. Citing right to religious freedom, Subedar S.P. Shukla, who has put in 28 years of service with a spotless record, declined to follow the orders issued to him. The army sees Shukla’s carefully nurtured choti as a violation of rules prohibiting display of religion. He is now pitted against age-old army traditions to honour, what he calls, his religious freedom. “On August 15, Major General Alok Dev saw me with the shikha (braid) and directed that I should be asked to remove it. I cannot do so. This is against my religious freedom and is my constitutional right. I replied back very politely to him in a letter that I request that an advice be taken from experts on this,” Subedar Shukla told Headlines Today. He wrote a detailed letter to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 40 Artillery Division giving out his reasons for sporting the braid. “I am a disciplined soldier and I do not want anything wrong to happen with the army. But I want a decision on this issue so that everyone benefits from it,” he insisted. Despite the stand-off, the army has not initiated any action against Shukla for now even though he has refused to follow a direct order.last_img read more

10 months agoAWESOME! Pepe will leave Besiktas having covered wages for club staff

first_imgAWESOME! Pepe will leave Besiktas having covered wages for club staffby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePepe will leave Besiktas with the gratitude of many of the club’s staff, it has been revealed.Due to the club’s financial problems, the former Real Madrid defender has agreed to terminating his contract this month.However, before Pepe’s departure, it’s emerged he paid the month’s wages of several of the club’s staff, including chefs and groundsmen, as Besiktas struggled to meet their obligations, reports Marca. Pepe is now set to become a free agent and can immediately sign for a new club. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoAston Villa ace Jack Grealish: How Ireland link sparked

first_imgAston Villa ace Jack Grealish: How Ireland link sparkedby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa star Jack Grealish has spoken how he sparked an international tug of war for his future.Grealish had trials for England at youth level when he was 15 but ended up hitting his head on a sink and had to be sent home.Before the next camp came around, Grealish ended up having trials for Ireland. Grealish told The Sun: “When I was young, I had trials for England. I think I was 15.”I got there and I was rooming with Diego Poyet, Gus Poyet’s son.”I woke up in the middle of the night.”I don’t know what it was, but I somehow collapsed in the bathroom and hit my head on the sink.”Grealish added that he wanted to stay at the training camp but wasn’t allowed to. After hitting his head on the sink, Grealish was sent home and ended up playing for Ireland at youth levelHe said: “Diego woke up and found me. I had to go and get checked out by the doctors.”The next morning I was completely fine, and I was like, ‘Please let me stay, let me stay’.”But they said, ‘No, you need to go home. You can come to the next camp’. “During that time I had trials for Ireland.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Womens Soccer Ohio State falls 40 to No 21 Penn State in

Ohio State senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr (1) prepares to take a goal kick in the second half of the game against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sept. 7. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s soccer team took a 4-0 loss to No. 21 Penn State in University Park, marking back-to-back losses for the Buckeyes after falling 1-0 to Florida Gulf Coast last Friday. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 3-4-0 overall this season. The first goal for Penn State came from freshman forward Kim Dubs in the 32nd minute, putting the Nittany Lions in the early lead after a 8-yard shot off the left post.Eight minutes later, Penn State senior midfielder Charlotte Williams added another goal from eight yards, making the score 2-0 for the Nittany Lions. Sophomore midfielder/forward Frankie Tagliaferri marked an additional goal with just over five minutes to go in the first half, upping Penn State’s score to 3-0 just before halftime. Finishing from six yards, sophomore defender/midfielder/forward Kerry Abello tallied one more goal for the Nittany Lions, increasing their final score to 4-0.  In this matchup, Ohio State totaled four shots and four saves, holding a 6-4 edge in corner kicks over Penn State. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions recorded 12 shots and three saves. After coming off of a 1-2 loss at home against Virginia, the Nittany Lions clinched the victory against the Buckeyes at Jeffrey Field, improving their overall record to 5-3-0 on the year.  The Buckeyes will stay on the road to face off against their next opponent Illinois on Thursday at 8 p.m. read more

Fiscal Changes with New Fiscal Year

first_img Cabinet launches consultation drives Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 31 Mar 2015 – No new taxes, but some expensive changes will take effect tomorrow and it impacts businesses, including employees. We learned today that minimum wage is postponed to May 15, 2015 but last week, the public was informed of changes to the Immigration Regulations which will see work permit fees increased by over 100% in some cases and the NIB informed on March 17th that payments will be increased as the wage ceiling is raised; that change also comes into effect on April 1st, 2015. There will be some savings… business licenses are cut by 50%; there will no longer be the 7.5% Customs Freight Insurance Tax; the FIT is gone in what Finance Minister Washington Misick called a rationalisation strategy. The Domestic Financial service tax and a wide range of bank service fees will no longer be charged but to transfer money out of the Turks and Caicos will more expensive; no longer at 10%, now 12%. Pensioners likely welcome the news that during a recent Cabinet meeting it was decided that, and I quote now, “TCI National Insurance Board pension regulations will be changed to ensure that monthly retirement pensions will be based on the ‘best five years of contributions’ of the past ten qualifying years. Pensioners will then receive a pension calculated on the 5 years of their highest total amount of insurable earnings.” Even better news is that the new policy takes effect retroactively from 1 January 2015. Recommended for you Bahamas to hold historic Cabinet Meeting outside of Capital Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI begins loan re-financing talks Related Items:cabinet meeting, fiscal year, immigration regulationlast_img read more

Education Ministry To Spend 775 Million To Purchase Textbooks

first_img Bahamas DPM Turnquest, as IDB Governor, Talks Technology and Climate Change Resilience at IDB Conclave Jamaica’s Senate Begins debate on National Identification and Registration Bill Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Two boys die, bicycle and van collide in St. Catherine, Jamaica Recommended for you Related Items:Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, jamaica, Minister of Education, textbooks Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, July 22 (JIS): It will cost the Ministry of Education some $775 million to procure textbooks for the upcoming school year beginning in September.Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, made the disclosure while addressing the House of Representatives on July 21.He pointed out that the textbooks reflect the content of the Revised Primary Curriculum and the syllabi for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ), Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and the City and Guilds.“With the exception of texts for Literatures in English, the texts provided at both levels for content disciplines are sufficiently adequate to support and reinforce the learning experiences of the students,” Rev. Thwaites said.He added that the Ministry continues to monitor closely the use of other texts to augment its provisions, in light of the exorbitant amount that parents are expected to invest in textbooks, some of which are often not used.The Minister also informed that the Ministry has issued guidelines for the purchase of textbooks for primary and secondary school students for the 2015/16 Academic Year.Rev. Thwaites noted that for grades one to three, no more than two supplementary books are needed; and for grades four to six, only one workbook each is needed for science, social studies, language arts and mathematics.He added that for grades seven to nine, no more than two supplementary texts are needed and, on average, three Literature books, approximately one per term.Rev. Thwaites also stressed that books that are required for purchase outside of these guidelines must be based on children’s unique learning needs.“In addition, parents may also be required to purchase dictionaries, atlases and technical equipment,” he said.last_img read more